The following statement may be attributed to Zippy Duvall, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation:
“The Western Caucus today introduced eight separate bills to reform the Endangered Species Act. The ESA, despite the good intentions it was built on, has failed in recovering endangered wildlife. Instead, it has threatened our ability to make productive use of the land. Perhaps the only ‘species’ that have benefited from the ESA have been lawyers and special interest groups.
“Farmers and ranchers want to take care of the land and wildlife. We are blessed to live and work out in nature and we want to preserve it. Unfortunately, the ESA discourages voluntary practices and targets farmers and ranchers rather than working in partnership with them. There is a better way.
“These measures will restore common sense to a regulatory regime that has gone unchecked and grown out of control. ESA reform is long overdue. We urge all members of Congress to support the bills introduced today, to return the ESA to what it was intended to be.”